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Tony Blair, the former British prime minister, is resigning next month as a special diplomatic envoy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, sources close to Blair said.

Blair told U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on Wednesday that he will step aside next month. He was appointed to the job, formally known as Quartet representative, in 2007.

The Quartet, comprising the United Nations, the European Union, the United States and Russia, was established in 2002 to help mediate peace negotiations and to support Palestinian economic development.

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair in 2012.FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA / EPA file

The most recent attempt at Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, brokered by the United States, broke down last year.

A source close to the former prime minister said that he would focus on “strengthening relations between Israel and the wider Arab world” and on “encouraging Israel to take measures which will dramatically improve the daily lives of Palestinians in Gaza.”


— Erin McClam